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We are into the final round of pool matches in the 2023 Rugby World Cup and Friday’s action in Pool A will decide which of France and Italy will progress to the knockout stage of the competition.
Some days we are spoilt with multiple matches, but Friday’s game, between the hosts and the exciting but often wide-open Italians, deserves to clear the rest of the schedules. No matter which country you follow in rugby, you will be watching this game!
Today’s matches and schedule – Rugby World Cup 06/10/2023
Here’s today’s only fixture at the 2023 Rugby World Cup today, with all the action taking place at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais on 06/10/2023.
|France vs Italy||20:00||Parc Olympique Lyonnais, Lyon|
New Zealand booked their place in the last eight with a dominating 73-0 victory over Uruguay at this same venue, now it is up to France and Italy to fight over the remaining spot and two will not go into one.
France vs Italy – Pool A (20:00 GMT, Parc Olympique Lyonnais)
France are not only the hosts but also the overwhelming favourites for this match as they come into the clash with a 100% record in the 2023 Rugby World Cup so far. With victories over the All-Blacks, Uruguay and Namibia already, many home fans will expect this match to be another formality.
However, one of the great attractions of watching Italy in action is you never really know who will turn up. Will it be the swashbuckling side who defeated Wales in Cardiff and Australia in Rome during 2022 or the Italians who were put to the sword 96-17 by the All-Blacks in Lyon last week.
The teams have met on 78 occasions previously with France winning 73 of them, Italy only four and one match ending in a draw. However, for all of France’s dominance, when they met in February of this year, France could only get over the line with a five point winning margin as they came out 29-24 winners in Rome.
The heavy defeat against New Zealand will have affected the Italians and there is no way that they will play with the same openness we saw in that match. Indeed, the margin of defeat would have been even greater if it hadn’t been for a late try and conversion.
It has been a brilliant Rugby World Cup so far and no tournament ever wants to lose its hosts at the first hurdle. And judging by what has come previously in Pool A, all roads point to France not only progressing to the quarter final stage but doing so as group winners.
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